Nigeria News
FEC Approves NABDA Bill, to Transmit it to National Assembly
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 Supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammed


The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the draft bill for an act to establish the National Biotechnology Development Agency and other related matters.

The draft bill is to be transmitted to the National Assembly for legislative input.
Supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammed, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly FECF meeting.

He said the Minister of Science and Technology brought a memo before the council, seeking its approval to transmit to  National Assembly, a Draft Bill 2014‎, to establish the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).

The minister said since its establishment in 2001, the agency had operated without any legislation backing its existence.

“In realisation of this and the challenges posed by lack of enabling law and omissions of basic provisions in the subsisting laws, necessitated the proposed bill for enactment into law.

“The Act will also ensure improved service delivery, efficiency and promote sustenance in the development and application of acceptable and profitable technologies through strategic investments in biotechnology research and development to support innovation to the National Assembly for enactment into law,” the minister noted.

He equally added that the Minister of Water Resources presented a memo seeking council’s approval for the ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a consultation mechanism for the integrated management of water resources of the Iullemeden, Taodeni/Tranezrouft Aquifer Systems among seven countries located in the transboundary aquifer systems in the West and North Africa. The countries, according to him, are Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger Republic and Nigeria.
“The MoU will facilitate partnerships to address common environmental challenges including management of transboundary water resources and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, notably those addressing desertification, biodiversity and climate change.

“The main objective of the project is to evaluate the water potential and to enhance the improvement of the general knowledge of the Iullemeden, Taodeni/Tranezrouft Aquifer systems, identifying major transboundary risks resulting from over exploitation, climate change and elaborating and monitoring water resources development and its vulnerability indicators.
“After deliberations, council approved the ratification of the MoU and directed the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice to prepare the requisite instrument of ratification” he explained.

Mohammed added that “following a memo by the minister of industry, trade and investment, council approved the notification of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of Nigeria’s category A commitment.

“The multilateral deal is aimed at simplifying customs procedures and enhancing competitiveness as the measures are expected to reduce cost of doing business and other associated costs, improve speed and efficiency in the clearance of goods from seaports, airports and land border posts.

“In addition, the document is geared towards helping member countries to update their infrastructure, train customs and other border agencies’ officials to implement the agreement.”

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